One of the worst Oscar rosters in recent memory

2011 was divisive. We knew that. There’s been a lack of consensus about what was good and what was bad that’s so strongly marked many called 2011 a shit year for films. That’s not true, but it was a year that failed to produce a masterpiece (um, most years fail to produce masterpieces). 2011 had so many films that appealed to wildly different tastes that everyone knew the Oscar nominations were going to be a mess. The last couple of months have seen plenty of bitching about The Descendants—I loved it but many think it’s overrated—and The Artist—many love it but I think it’s overrated—and Hugo and War Horse come from venerable directors but neither are either’s best work (and neither will matter in five years). There was also an abundance of excellent acting in 2011, which guaranteed that each of the four acting categories would feature prominent snubs. Continue reading “One of the worst Oscar rosters in recent memory”

And the Oscar for the Most Boring Oscars goes to…the Oscars


Really, “fixing” the Academy Awards is very, very simple. But every year, the Academy turns this process into Mola Ram’s Temple of Doom ritual killing. When we say, “Make the Oscars entertaining” the Academy hears, “Make the Oscars an eleven-hour montage punctuated by moments of self-congratulation and banal banter while shoe-horning in bits meant to communicate hip youthfulness but really only show how un-hip and not-youthful the Academy actually is”. Continue reading “And the Oscar for the Most Boring Oscars goes to…the Oscars”

Final Oscar predictions

Here’s the last round of Oscar predictions, including the “should wins”. I don’t expect upsets in the major categories, but there could be some surprises in the art/technical categories. I’m calling a King’s Speech/Social Network split with King’s Speech taking Best Picture. I also think we’ll be seeing Banksy—or something representing Banksy—on Oscar’s stage. Without further ado, here are the predictions. Continue reading “Final Oscar predictions”

Post-SAG Oscar Handicaps

That sounds like a post-operative procedure for plastic surgery, doesn’t it? Well there’s been a bit of a shake-up in the predictions since the SAG Awards. In the wake of The King’s Speech win for Best Cast Ensemble there, and following wins at the Directors’ Guild and Producers’ Guild, The King’s Speech takes over as the Oscar favorite. We now have a two-horse race heading into the Oscars at the end of the month between guild favorite The King’s Speech (the Writers’ Guild weighs in this weekend) and critical darling The Social Network.

But do we have an upset coming? Not unless Toy Story 3, The Kids Are All Right or Winter’s Bone pulls out the win. Between The King’s Speech and The Social Network it’s two of the most well-received films of the year. Throw a dart—either one is an acceptable winner. It’s just a matter of personal taste, which one you think deserves to be Best Picture. Most of the major categories and many of the technical/artistic ones are going to be decided between these two. And that’s boring right? Of course it is. But this is how it goes most every year. Everyone loses their shit for one or two movies and it/they win all the hardware. But where are we with these movies in five years? That’s for another day. On to the second round of Oscar handicaps. Continue reading “Post-SAG Oscar Handicaps”

Handicapping the Oscars for real

I engaged in some tomfoolery during my fall movie preview, assigning movies asinine Oscar odds that had no real bearing on anything since the movies weren’t out yet and I hadn’t seen most of them at that point. This marks my first effort at real handicapping. I’ll revisit this after the SAGs at some point and then do a final line right before the Oscars proper. I bet on these things. These odds—they’re how I’m placing my bets. So who I think WILL win and who I think SHOULD win are two different things. That’s why, in my final odds, I always post both options. For now, though, I’m sticking to the WILL wins, listed first, with odds decreasing after that. I’m also doing this without the input of my acquaintance who is a voting member of the Academy. He just texted to tell me he was bummed for Ryan Gosling, calling Blue Valentine a “duet” and saying he thought it was unfair to nominate Michelle Williams and not her on-screen partner. Oh well. It’s the Academy. Unfairness abounds. Continue reading “Handicapping the Oscars for real”

Was it just me, or did it take 10 years to watch the Oscars?

Frak that was a long broadcast! It just kept going and going… I remember last year’s show being kinda snappy except for a couple draggy parts, but this year–yikes. It was like the whole thing was being filtered through molasses, it was so slooooooooow. Highlight: Neil Patrick Harris’s sparkly tuxedo and opening number. Lowlight: Neil Patrick Harris wasn’t the host. Why two opening bits? As much as I like NPH, as he wasn’t the host, was his opening song and dance necessary? It was an extra five minutes we didn’t need. Either hire NPH to host, or don’t have him do an opening before the actual hosts come out and do *another* opening. Highlight: Robert Downey, Jr., Tina Fey, and Ben Stiller proving that genuinely entertaining people can be entertaining. Lowlight: the modern dance presentation of the Best Original Score nominees. It just proved how much everyone hates modern dance. Highlight: Sandra Bullock and Christoph Waltz giving genuine, gracious speeches. Lowlight: that lady I’ve never heard of totally Kanye’d that guy I’ve never heard of when he won an Oscar for a short documentary I’ve never heard of. Continue reading “Was it just me, or did it take 10 years to watch the Oscars?”

Award Shows 2010: The 82nd Annual Academy Awards

I fucking hate the Oscars.

Let’s just put that on the table first. The broadcast is too long, too smug, not entertaining, and as I stated during the Golden Globes last month, all awards shows are by their very natures intolerable circle jerks of self-congratulation. The Oscars are the worst of the lot. It’s the longest, the smuggest, the masturbatoriest awards show of them all. Guaranteed the dual hosts, Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin, will fall flat more often than not throughout the night. There will be weepy speeches we can’t understand. Sean Penn will be presenting Best Actress, and I promise he will say something political that he thinks sounds smart but really just makes us all hate him even more. The broadcast will run long. Winners will begin snapping at the orchestra not to cut them off. Though the nominees for Best Original Song will not be performing this year, we will be subjected to multiple song and dance numbers. (Tip to the producers: Instead of depriving actual nominees of the chance to perform in order to save time, how about you scrap the song and dance numbers?) Continue reading “Award Shows 2010: The 82nd Annual Academy Awards”